Instructor: Dr. Tasha J. Souza Office: House 54 Rm. 103
Office Hrs: M/F 10:00-11:00, W 5:00-6:00 & by appt. Semester: Fall 2002
Class Times: W 6:00-8:50 E mail:
Phone: 826-3462

Required Reading

The Consultant’s Craft: Improving Organizational Communication, by Sue DeWine (2001)

Comm 480 Reading Packet

Course Description
Communication 480 is designed to provide you with a grounding in the theoretical and practical approaches to communication consulting as well as experience in the design, presentation and evaluation of a communication training session. You will utilize your skill and knowledge in communication to train others from local nonprofit organizations. The general goal of the course is to develop your competence in teaching communication to others in a training capacity. With achievement of this goal comes the accomplishment of the companion service goal: to improve and enhance client/community partner knowledge of and skill in communication.

Issues in the course will include ethical considerations for communication training, needs assessment and evaluation methods, training design and implementation, and communication variables involved in the client/consultant relationship. Emphasis will be on understanding communication consulting from both theoretical and practical perspectives. The class will consist of meetings devoted to the use of exercises, critical thinking, group facilitation, and personal reflection to understand effective communication training.

Course Objectives
By the end of the semester you should be able to:

  • understand the theoretical frameworks related to communication training and consulting
  • identify how communication is both the content and process of training and development
  • experience a consultant/client relationship in a service capacity and use the experience as a learning tool
  • identify the communication needs of your client/community partner and respond appropriately to those needs – experience the process of designing, conducting, evaluating, & reflecting on a training session w/ a team
  • explore current topics related to training and consulting
  • reflect upon and examine your own proficiency as a communication trainer and consultant

Course Requirements

  • Class Involvement – Class discussion, group activity, role playing, home learning, teamwork, etc. – 60 points
  • Quizzes 11 (out of 12) weekly quizzes @ 10 points each – 110 points
  • Training Contract – 1-2 pages per team – 10 points
  • Paper 1 – Training Proposal (8-10 pages) per team – 80 points
  • Paper 2 – Evaluation of Training (6-8 pages) per team – 60 points
  • Training Team Evaluations – Evaluation of Team Partners – 12 points
  • In-Class Team Training – Facilitate in-class Exercise w/ Team – 40 points
  • Self Evaluation – Evaluation of In-Class Training – 14 points
  • Peer Evaluation – Evaluate another team on facilitation – 14 pointsTOTAL = 400 points

Explanation of Course Requirements:

Service Learning Assignment/External Team Training
The service learning assignment is designed to provide you with an educational opportunity that meets identified community needs and encourages reflection upon the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of the course content and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. This assignment is based on the assumption that there is value in prospective trainers preparing for, designing, implementing, and evaluating a training session for a local non profit organization. In addition, this assignment assumes that practical training experience is a useful learning tool.

Service Learning Assignment Objectives
As a result of satisfactorily completing the service learning assignment, a training team will be able to:
(1) contact a client (from the community partner list provided) and coordinate a needs assessment and a training session;
(2) design a one to two hour (at least) training session with an active learning component (e.g., game, simulation, exercise, small groups, role play, discussion,) based on the needs assessment data;
(3) present an effective training session, and
(4) evaluate and reflect on the training session, team work, client relations and the degree to which you were able to meet client needs.

Service Learning Assignment Tasks
(1) Contact client and secure a training site.
(2) Create a contract and give to client.
(3) Coordinate and conduct a needs assessment (which includes creating the needs assessment instrument).
(4) Analyze needs assessment data and, as a result of analysis, consult your text, the internet, the library, class readings, notes, and handouts as sources in order to choose appropriate topics and activities in order to make your training creative, effective, and appropriate for your clients.
(5) Create training proposal for class (to turn in as paper 1) and client.
(6) Design and facilitate a 1-2 hour training as a team for external training during appropriate stage of semester (note timeline handout).
(7) Design, prepare, and copy appropriate materials. At least one handout must be distributed during the training session.
(8) Make appropriate use of visual aids: posters, overhead, PowerPoint, video, etc.
(9) Design and distribute an evaluation instrument.
(10) Analyze evaluation feedback and reflect on learnings (to turn in as paper 2).

Professionalism, Scheduling, & Accountability
Your service learning training project will necessitate the utmost professionalism on your part as you will be a representative of HSU and the Department of Communication while working in the community. You are expected to coordinate with a client, prepare and copy your own materials, make travel arrangements, and deliver a professional training to a community or professional group. You will need to take accountability for contacting a client, scheduling appointments, and a conducting the training with your client. You must be willing to rearrange your schedule in order to conduct a pre assessment and an outside training that take place at an appropriate time for the client and the course calendar. If you do not think your schedule will be flexible enough, it would be in your best interest to drop the course.

An absence in the first week may result in your being dropped from the class. If you know that you will have to miss a class during the first week of class, let me know right away. Please call me or e mail when you are absent. If you might have difficulty attending class on a regular basis, it would be in your best interest to drop. Extended absences for medical reasons will be excused with a doctor’s note. More than 1 unexcused absence will result in a lower involvement grade. If you might have difficulty getting to class on time, reorganize your schedule so that you can be prompt.

Your attendance and active involvement are essential to the success of this class. Most of our class meetings involve discussions, speaking activities or assignments on which you will be graded. Therefore, absences and frequent tardiness will result in a lower involvement grade. Whenever you are absent, arrive late, or leave early, you are inconveniencing your peers and the instructor at best, and you are jeopardizing your grade at worst. Your consistent participation in exercises and class discussion is encouraged and rewarded.

Involvement includes (but is not limited to) your regular and on time class attendance, how well/completely you read for the day and incorporate text concepts into the discussion/activities, how “present” you are in-class, how readily you volunteer for in class activities, how well you generally project respectful involvement in terms of supportive listening, nonverbal feedback, and thoughtful verbal contributions which allow space for your own and others’ thoughts as well (i.e., being an active part of, but not monopolizing, the discussion), your completion of the assignments, and the quality and relevance of your participation in-class discussion. Your contributions should contribute to the learning of other students in-class.

The quizzes will cover class readings and class learning (both students’ and teacher’s contributions). The quizzes will test your understanding of the course material and ability to synthesize, evaluate, and apply the course content. Although the focus of each quiz will be on one set of readings, expect questions that link concepts to previous readings.

The papers need to use correct bibliographic format (APA) and require library and field research. The papers will be graded on both content and style and must be typed, double spaced. It is my expectation that the writing is clear, specific, solid in substance, coherent, and free of grammatical and spelling errors. Please proof all written work before turning in. Details for each paper will be distributed in-class.

In-Class Team Training & Self Evaluation
For this assignment, your team will have the opportunity to prepare for and lead an exercise in-class. This assignment is based on the assumption that there is value in prospective trainers designing a training exercise, presenting information, and receiving feedback in-class before presenting in front of clients. In addition, this assignment assumes that observing, evaluating, and providing written and oral feedback for a variety of training styles is useful. Teams will sign up for leading an exercise during one class session. Guidelines for leading an exercise will be discussed in-class. Each team member will need to complete a self evaluation of the training. The self evaluation forms will be distributed in-class.

Peer Evaluations of In-class Training
Peer evaluations must be completed of class members from another team. The peer evaluation forms will be distributed in-class.

Course Policies and Expectations

Risk Taking
I believe that in order to learn, people need to take some necessary and appropriate risks. For example: learning to ride a bicycle. You cannot learn how to ride a bike simply by observation. You have to take the risk of falling and hurting yourself. You will not fall nor hurt yourself in this class, but will be expected to stretch your comfort. zone and take risks in your communicative behavior.

Community Orientation
This class is a community because you are learning and engaging with other people who are striving for the same goals as you are, in a situation that involves challenge and choice making. Because you will be working with this same community for the entire semester, it is important that we not only build community, but also learn about the community we will be working with. The class sessions are set up to help people learn from each other (through discussions, activities). Everyone has useful and insightful information to offer to the class.

Course Schedule

Week One
W 8/29 Introduction to Course and T & D
Work on Teams and Topics

Week Two
W 9/5 Overview Training and Consulting SDW Ch. 1, 2, 3 & readings
Quiz 1 Schoenberger & Arnold Ch.
Choose Teams and Practice Client Contact

Week Three
W 9/12 Theoretical Frameworks, Learning, and Design readings (4) by Zemke, Broadwell, Nyquist, Kibler,
Quiz 2
Secure Training Site

Week Four
W 9/19 Needs Assessment and Data Analysis SDW Ch. 4,5
Quiz 3
Contracts Due, Work on Needs Assessment

Week Five
W 9/26 Training Techniques & Team Building SDW Ch. 6,12 & readings (4) by Standke, Cornwell
Quiz 4
Bring in 4 copies of Needs Assessment Form Covert (handout)

Week Six
W 10/3 Evaluating Training Sessions SDW Ch. 17
Quiz 5
Work on Evaluation Form & Conduct Needs Assessment wl Client

Week Seven
W 10/10 Communication Skills and Technology SDW Ch. 7, 9, 11
Quiz 6
In-Class Team Training Sessions (2)
Paper 1 Due

Week Eight
W 10/17 Comm. Managers & Management Consulting SDW Ch. 8
Quiz 7
In-Class Team Training Sessions (2)
Work on Training Design, Research Training Topics

Week Nine
W 10/24 Change Processes and Meetings SDW Ch. 15, 10
Quiz 8
Conduct Training (at the earliest!)

Week Ten
W 10/31 No Class/Conference
Conduct Training

Week Eleven
T 11/7 Feedback and Difficult Clients SDW Ch. 13 & 14
Quiz 9
Conduct Training

Week Twelve
W 11/14 Globalization and International Consulting SDW Ch. 16
Conduct Training
Quiz 10

Week Thirteen
W 11/21 Holiday/No Class
Conduct Training

Week Fourteen
W 11/28 Consulting Evaluation & Working Relationships SDW Ch. 18, 19
Quiz 11
Conduct Training (at the very latest!)

Week Fifteen
W 12/5 The Business of Consulting SDW Ch. 20
Quiz 12
Work on Paper 2

Week Sixteen
W 12/12 Closure and Celebration!!!
Paper 2 Due

Week Seventeen
W 12/19 Final Meet to discuss final paper Time: 5:00 6:50